Vice President of OPPA for 2016

I’m pleased to note that I was recently elected Vice President of the Oregon Professional Photographers Association for 2016.
Oregon Professional Photographers Association
I’ve been involved in the OPPA since its founding and am looking forward to providing leadership for the group. It’s an interesting time in the professional photography world, and true professionals are able to stand out among the many fly-by-night hobbyists. OPPA works to educate and represent pro photographers in all areas of the craft and business of photography through our various educational events, social programs, and structured photography competitions.

I’ll be heading to the Professional Photographers of America’s annual Affiliate Leadership meeting in January, and I hope to continue the work of past OPPA leadership that has positioned us as a one of the leading PPA affiliates in the country.

Thanks to the OPPA members for placing faith in me; I look forward to an exciting 2016 for photographers in the northwest!

Comcast Leaders and Achievers: Event Photography

I’ve photographed a few events at Portland’s World Trade Center (yes, there are World Trade Centers outside New York) and a recent event photography opportunity allowed me to make some fun images in this space. While there are a variety of spaces for events and photography at the Portland World Trade Center, this event (the Comcast Leaders and Achievers awards breakfast and ceremony) was on the third floor sky bridge space, featuring high glass ceilings and lots of natural light.

World Trade Center PDX

High school youth were being presented with scholarship checks and other financial awards as they prepared to head to college this fall, and the event featured a few speakers.

World Trade Center Portland Event Photography

Portland Event Photography

Portland World Trade Center Event Photographer

After speeches at the event from a Comcast vice president and Oregon’s Attorney General, the youth were presented with awards, including a couple extra scholarship prizes awarded to a few youth who had gone above and beyond in their achievements and leadership opportunities as high schoolers. I had a great time doing event photos in the World Trade Center space, and look forward to working here again soon.

Portland World Trade Center photography

Have an event at the Portland World Trade Center? Drop me a note about having some great images made!

Aaron Hockley awarded the OPPA President’s Award

As we move into 2015, I’m pleased to announce something that happened at the end of 2014.

As many folks know, I’m on the board of directors for the Oregon Professional Photographers Association. In mid-December I was announced as the recipient of the President’s Award for 2014, one of the highest honors presented by the organization.

The OPPA President’s Award is presented annually to an active member of the organization whose dedication and service benefits the organization, while being of service to the community and a photographer ambassador to the public.

Oregon Professional Photographers Association President's Award
OPPA 2014 President Mark Fitzgerald with President’s Award recipient Aaron Hockley

In a region brimming with photographers, I’m honored to have been presented this award and I look forward to another year of living photography. The Oregon Professional Photographers Association is a fantastic group filled with smart, creative individuals, and I can’t wait to continue working with the OPPA membership to provide fellowship, education, and development for photographers in our area.

photo by Andie Petkus

Presenting at New Media Expo

Not all of my photography business activities are in creating images for clients.

I also write, speak, and provide photography information to those in other industries. As I type this I’m in Las Vegas for New Media Expo, a gathering of a few thousand folks involved in new media marketing, internet business, podcasting, web video, and related fields.

Las Vegas at Night

This is my fourth time at New Media Expo and the third time I’ve been invited as a speaker. On Monday I’m giving a talk about photography for the web, with an eye to help bloggers learn a bit about photography basics and how to best share their photos online. Smart businessfolk are going to hire a professional photographer for business portraits, events, or other such activities, but there are a lot of day to day photos that get shared online, and I’m always interested in helping others improve. This year I’m co-presenting with Darlene Hildebrandt, an accomplished photographer from Edmonton.

This trip is representative of the fact that I’m up for a variety of photo-related work… sure, you can hire me to make a portrait or photograph an event, but if there’s another photography question or opportunity, don’t hesitate to contact me and let’s make it happen.

When Photography Equipment Fails

As we all know too well, eventually it seems like everything breaks. Whether we’re talking about a child’s toy, an automobile, or yes, photography gear, sometimes bad things happen.

Sometimes it’s just a bummer. But if you’re working with a photographer, sometimes it’s more than just a bummer. Sometimes those photos can’t be recreated, or the recreation would be extraordinarily expensive or impractical.

This is one of those areas where a responsible professional is going to trump that guy you hired for $50 off of Craigslist, or someone who offered to do it for free because hey, they just like photography and have a good-enough camera.

A professional photographer is going to plan for the unexpected. When I head out, whether it’s to a one-photo portrait session or a multi-day event, I never have a single camera body or a single lens. As you see me set up a light, know that I have a backup plan for if that light were to fail. Within my primary cameras I have two memory cards, configured not for additional capacity but for redundancy in case one of those cards failed. On a wider level, I have a network of other photographers who I can call upon were I to become sick or otherwise unavailable for a planned engagement, and I am always mindful of potential vendors were I to need emergency equipment acquisition in whatever city I’m working.

Part of what you get when you hire a professional is someone who has invested the time and money to ensure that you get the photos you deserve. While it’s impossible to predict every potential badness, there are a lot of things that can be prevented.

I’ve been fortunate that (knock on wood) I’ve only had a couple notable gear failures in recent memory, but I was reminded of this just a couple days ago when I had a problem that became a non-problem due to my preparation.

And because an article on my photography website ought to have a photo, here’s notable Portland jazz musician Mel Brown, photographed about a year ago at an event where I had an equipment problem… that never impacted the client at all.

Mel Brown - Jazz Drummer - Portland Event